In my musical career I had been working with many partners, record companies & publishers and know that working as an independent artist will give me the most freedom to transform my musical ideas in the way I want it and it sounds right to my ears
Tell us about yourself and what you do
I have been making a living from music in the widest sense for many years. I gave guitar lessons, made jingle productions & wrote editorial articles for music magazines and made my living in this way in the earlier days. In the meantime, to bring home the bacon I worked as a live & studio musician and music producer while nowadays I primarily write textbooks and publish my works as an independent music publisher. During these many years of my professional music independency there were quite a number of co-operations and also publications with other artists, publishing houses and labels. I also wrote, composed, arranged and produced songs for various artists and contributed to many different music productions as producer and / or arranger. Today I am largely a self-marketing musician.
While in the past my musical work took place in the background, I am now breaking completely new ground as an artist performing my own songs! Thank to all the people who encouraged me to take the step!
Who has inspired you in your life and why?
From the music side I am indeed listening to a great many music styles like rock, classic music, jazz and world music, but for sure musicians & bands like Queen, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Aretha Franklin, Mother’s Finest, Deep Purple, John Miles, Earth Wind & Fire, Eric Clapton / Cream, Miles Davis, Led Zeppelin, Santana etc. had the greatest influence on me.
What is your greatest achievement so far?
Under my artist name “Jo Oliver” my musical career is right at the beginning. But as a producer and songwriter I already achieved some awards. For example the german song “Umweltsong” (about environmentally destruction), that I had composed and the lyrics co-written with Nik Page for “Songs Of Lemuria”, won a award from DM & the German UNESCO.
Do you have any tips for our readers that are trying to break in the industry?
The question is, if you really want to work with the major music industry or if you prefer to work with independent labels? But in any case (especially if you want to get the “big major deal”) you need really “big sounding” audio-files with a very high production quality! The industry pretends to recognize a great song even if there is just a low quality demo-production. My experience is that you always need the best production quality – otherwise your partners will not realize the quality of your song.
Do you prefer to be on a major label or to stay independent?
In my musical career I had been working with many partners, record companies & publishers and know that working as an independent artist will give me the most freedom to transform my musical ideas in the way I want it and it sounds right to my ears. For example, I am planning to set up a LIVE band for my project and really want to play live. But for many major labels it means just to “fake” playing real instruments on stage while the music in fact is coming from the computer. The majors often ask for an equal sound like in the studio production, which is almost impossible considering productions with 80 tracks and more, except you engage a band with 20/30 musicians that nobody is able to pay…
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